What You Need To Know About Colon Cancer

People over the age of 50 should have an annual health check so that colon cancer can be detected as early as possible. A healthy lifestyle is important to avoid this form of cancer.
What you need to know about colon cancer

Colon cancer is a disease that is becoming more and more common. It is therefore important to have some knowledge of the disease, so that it can be prevented or at least detected as early as possible. This is the most serious disease one can have, where the colon is involved. Knowledge is therefore important. This article will explain everything you need to know. Colon cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. An early diagnosis can lead to full cure. Colon cancer begins at the edge of the colon and rectum.

What are the causes of colon cancer?

There is no single cause for this disease. Most patients first discovered benign polyps that turned into cancer because they remained untreated and grew in size. Those who have the greatest chance of developing colon cancer are:

  • Those over 60 years.
  • People of African-American or Eastern European descent.
  • People who eat a lot of processed foods and red meat.
  • Those who have polyps in the colon / rectum.
  • People with an inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s.
  • Patients with a family history (especially if adenomatous polyposis has been common in the family).
  • People who have a diet high in fat and low in fiber.
  • Those who smoke and drink too much.
  • Those with obesity or overweight.

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of death in Spain. The disease is more common in men than women. Only 10% of polyps develop into cancer. However, they should be treated before too long.

intestine

What symptoms cause colon cancer?

The symptoms can vary depending on where in the colon the tumor is located:

  • If it is on the left side, the symptoms are blood in the stool, diarrhea and constipation, and a feeling that you cannot empty yourself completely.
  • If it sits in the transverse part of the colon, it experiences pain, blockage, cramping and vomiting.
  • If the tumor is on the right side: internal bleeding, chronic anemia, fatigue, pallor and lack of strength.

In any case, colon cancer can lead to loss of appetite, dramatic weight loss, fever, chronic fatigue, tenderness and pain in the lower abdomen along with thin stools.

How is a cancer detected in the colon?

Colon cancer is detected using medical tests. The doctor puts pressure on the abdominal area in addition to performing an examination of the rectum.

The stool can also be tested to see if it contains blood, as this may indicate colon cancer or other diseases. Other blood tests are performed to detect anemia and how the liver is functioning.

The doctor performs a colonoscopy to be able to see the entire intestine and thus find tumors or polyps. This examination allows the doctor to see the whole area and take samples for further analyzes. If injuries do not allow the use of colonoscopy, there is a possibility to see the silhouette of the intestine using X-rays.

Colonoscopy

If the diagnosis is colon cancer, there are other tests that determine how advanced the disease is and whether it has spread. These tests are performed with CT and MRI of the abdomen.

There are five stages of colon cancer:

  • 0: formed in the outer layers of the intestine
  • I: formed in the inner layers of the intestine
  • II: it has spread through the intestinal wall
  • III: spread to the lymph nodes
  • IV: spread to other organs (metastasis)

The treatment depends on many factors, such as the stage of the disease and where it is located. Treatment varies in severity and includes surgery to remove the cancer cells, chemotherapy to kill the cancer cells and radiation therapy to destroy the cancerous tissue. Colon cancer can be cured if it is detected early enough. The prognosis also depends on the patient’s age, immune system and where one is in the course of the disease. If the cancer has not returned five years after the last treatment, the patient will be declared healthy.

Early diagnosis and prevention of colon cancer

There are many methods that can detect colon cancer at an early stage. However, one must be aware that the earliest signs of this cancer can be confused with other diseases. Those over the age of 50 are recommended an annual check for blood in the stool. Greater precautions should be taken if there is cancer in the family. Then one should start with endoscopy after the age of 40, and repeat the examination every other year. If the results of this examination are positive, a colonoscopy can be performed.

 

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